March 15, 1973, the day Karen Bianchini was born was the same day her parents William (Billy) and Sharon Bianchini signed the papers to purchase 160 cows and contract from Norman and Thora Neil, of middle Two-Rock road in Petaluma. For one year, Billy and Sharon rented the Neil Ranch to milk and pasture their new herd. In 1974, the ranch at 12800 Highway One came up for sale. The ranch was owned by the Grandi Family and pasted to a daughter and son-in-law by the names of Al and Lydia Bianchi. Upon retirement of dairy farming, Al, Lydia and her sister Katie built two homes towards the entrance of the property in which they lived out the remainder of their lives.
It was June of 1974, when Billy, Sharon, Kathleen (3) and Karen (1) Bianchini moved to this ranch north of Point Reyes Station with their year old herd of dairy cows. A ton of support from both Billy and Sharon’s families, made the transition to the new facility run smoothly. Bill Bianchini Sr. helped his son manually dig out the pit for the milking parlor, while Joe Mendoza Sr. (Sharon’s father) helped finance renovations for the 1920’s ranch house.
Billy and Sharon had both been raised on dairies, so raising their children here was a natural thing to do. As young children, Kathleen and Karen fed calves on occasion and learned to drive a truck in the fields so their dad could feed the heifers. Billy and Sharon Bianchini had a successful business, which was paying off their debt, a growing family, and a growing herd of cattle. In 1984, the milking herd had reached 250 cows a loafing barn had been added to the facility, Kathleen was about to enter high school, Karen was 10 years old and Billy finally lost his two year battle of cancer.
A fifth generation dairywoman herself, Sharon was supported tremendously by family and friends and decided to continue running the family business her and Billy began in 1973. In 2006, after Sharon had been remarried and had begun new ventures with her husband, Karen decided it was time to return home and continue the business that began the day she was born. With support from Karen’s husband John Taylor, the two have taken what began in 1973 and transitioned the herd and facility to an organic business operation. Karen and John live, work and raise their children at the Bianchini Ranch, home to the Bivalve Dairy cows.